by Tom Kaneshige

iPhones and iPods on the Job: Creative Uses

Aug 13, 20092 mins
iPhoneMobileSmall and Medium Business

From artists to U.S. soldiers, more professionals than ever are using the iPhone and iPod Touch to get important jobs done. Here's a look at five ways the iPhone gets down to business on campus, on the battlefield, and beyond.

People use the iPhone for the darndest things, especially on the job. We’re not talking about contacts and maps on the fly. Think college cafeteria meal card,or atristry done on a streetcorner that ends up on a leading magazine’s cover. Here’s a look at five innovative ways the iPhone and iPod Touch have changed work in 2009.

iPod of War


Today’s soldier needs the latest gear. That’s why the U.S. military doles out the iPod Touch to soldiers in war zones in the Middle East. At their fingertips, soldiers can stay electronically linked to other troops, tap apps for language translation and cultural information, and access data such as maps, photos, videos and voice recordings. Does the iPod Touch come in camo?

Required Class: iPhone 101


Apple and college students have always had a thing for each other. From the Macintosh to the iPod and now the iPhone, the bond is a strong one — and it’s about to get stronger. Last fall, Texas’s Abilene Christian University gave incoming freshmen students an iPod Touch so that they could get homework alerts, answer quizzes in class, get directions and check meal balances. The University of Missouri School of Journalism also strongly suggests students have an iPhone or iPod Touch.

Is There a Doctor Online?


At the unveiling of the iPhone 3GS earlier this year at Apple’s WWDC, AirStrip showed off a mobile medical alert app whereby doctors could look at a patient’s EKG in real-time over the iPhone. There’s no question medical app developers see a watershed moment with the iPhone. Let’s just hope the doctor’s iPhone battery isn’t dead when he gets the critical alert.

Art of the iPhone


Artist Jorge Colombo drew this New Yorker cover entirely on the iPhone, using an app called Brushes. He stood and painted for an hour outside Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum in Times Square. There’s a video of his artistic process. Art may not be fast or easy, but in this case it was cheap. How much did Colombo pay for the Brushes app? $5.

Advantage: Tech Teachers


Bueller? Bueller? Cutting class has never been harder for high school students. Some private schools are giving teachers an iPod Touch to take attendance and file progress reports. Attendance records are immediately sent to parents’ iPhones. This means Ferris Bueller wouldn’t have stood a chance. (Thanks for the memories, John Hughes!)